BALTIMORE -- Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-2 on Thursday and he wasn't even in the Red Sox's lineup. Thanks largely to his recent 29-game hitting streak, Bradley earned American League Player of the Month honors for the first time Thursday, but it was hardly the highlight of his afternoon.
The Red Sox center fielder also became a first-time father, as his wife, Erin, gave birth to a girl in Boston.
"When you're talking about the balance of on the field and off the field," manager John Farrell said, "you'd be hard pressed to find a day better than today for him."
• Past winners
Bradley, who was placed on paternity leave Monday, hit in 29 straight games from April 29-May 25, a streak that included 11 multihit efforts.
The 26-year-old hit .381/.474/.701, with seven doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBIs in May. He also drew more walks (17) than strikeouts (15) as the Red Sox finished May with a season-high three-game lead atop the AL East.
"Well deserved," Farrell said. "Outstanding month, outstanding player he's turning into. He's been a main contributor to date. I'm proud of him, I'm happy for him -- he's had a big day, even though he's not here."
Bradley is hitting .331, which ranked fourth in the AL entering Thursday, while his .409 on-base percentage ranked third. Farrell said he expects Bradley back in the lineup Friday when the Red Sox open a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.